Cuban Delegation Calls on Vice President Boakai

Thursday, 10th April 2008

Monrovia , Liberia - A five-member Cuban Government delegation accompanied by Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Nathaniel Barnes, Thursday paid a courtesy call on Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai at his Capitol Building office.

In remarks, Vice President Boakai painted a dismal picture of the country’s health delivery system to the Cuban delegation. He said the protracted civil conflict has left the country’s institutions in dire straits, and that Liberia is currently experiencing a dearth of medical doctors and nurses as a result of the brain occasioned by the war.

He said the Government is currently trying to reopen rural health centers, and that any assistance by Cuba in this direction would be welcome.

“It is unfortunate that developing countries will be training people for developed countries,” Vice President Boakai observed.

The Liberian Vice President told the Cuban delegation that Liberia is rich in resources with a lot of potential in agriculture and mining.

Vice President Boakai said he was impressed with the simple but efficient way Cubans do things, and expressed optimism that the bilateral cooperation now being crafted by Liberian and Cuban officials would be a good opportunity for Liberia to benefit from Cuba’s expertise in the areas of sports, agriculture, health and education. 

Briefing the Vice President earlier, Ambassador Barnes said the Cuban delegation was in the country to follow-up on discussions the Vice President held with the Cuban Foreign in New York last year.

He said the Cuban delegation has been holding discussions with Liberian government officials since their arrival, to come out with a framework for inter-governmental cooperation.

 He said under the cooperation, the Cuban Government will assist Liberia in the areas of health care delivery, training, agriculture and education, including offering scholarships to Liberian students to study in Cuba.

Also speaking, the Cuban First Deputy Minister of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation, Lic.
Ramon Ripoll, pledged his country’s willingness to share its development experiences with Liberians.